Watching the Sky

I was driving down Elmwood Avenue one time on a Friday night. I don't remember the details of whatever drama was going on in my life, but I remember being upset about something. There was a group of people gathered around some telescopes set up on the sidewalk outside the Neighborhood Collective, so I decided to check it out. Turns out it was an amatuer astronomy club, and they were out because Saturn was particularly close to Earth and the sky was clear as a bell. They invited me to look through their telescopes at Saturn. And I could see it! Now it wasn't all clear and pretty like in the books, but it was a bright white disc with a distinct bump on each side: the famous rings. We had another celestial close call a couple of weeks ago, but unfortunately a thick layer of clouds blocked my view. Jupiter and Venus were very close in the sky (I did see them a couple of days before their closest, and they were so bright in the sky I thought it was a tv tower) and on December 1st the crescent moon joined them to make a triangle. I wish I'd seen it. Living in a city it's easy to forget there's anything in the sky other than the moon. One of my best memories is from the time a few of us went to stay at my friend's camp in the Adirondacks. Of course, we were idiots so we went in March when it was freezing cold, but that also meant that at night there was no light for miles. We went out on the lake in a canoe at night, and looking up at the sky and seeing all the stars made me dizzy.

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